West Mercia Police have seen a recent increase in reports of fraudsters operating in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, claiming to be from various police services around the country.

Please be aware of anyone asking you to withdraw money, make bank transfers or hand over card details. So called ‘courier fraud’ can involve cold calls from people claiming to be from authority such as police officers or credit card companies.

These calls are made by criminals who often look to target elderly or vulnerable people. However, anyone can be a victim to courier fraud.

A recent incident in Herefordshire saw a call made from someone claiming to be from Paddington Police Station. They persuaded an 88-year-old man to withdraw £3,300 and informed him that a courier would attend his address to collect the money.

DS Jon Cooper said, “No police officer from any force or department and organisations will ever ask you to make a payment, withdraw or transfer money or ask for your bank details.

Even if someone provides all your details correctly on the phone, it can still be a scam. If in doubt, don’t be afraid to hang up and call whatever company they say they are and directly check if it is legitimate.

“I urge the public to get in touch with friends and family to warn them of the risk and to know what to do. These scams can be extremely convincing and manipulative.

Please remember the police will never contact you asking for your bank card, details, cash or ask you to go to a bank to withdraw cash. If someone does, it’s a scam – provide no details and hand nothing over, hang up, wait ten minutes then call 101.”

If you receive a suspicious phone call, you can report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or calling 0300 123 2040.

If you are in immediate risk, always call 999.